"I’m drawn to non-fiction, books about people whose outer or inner lives take unexpected turns. But I’ll never say no to a good novel, and with so many great book covers these days, it’s getting harder and harder to not pick them all up."
...And here is some more inspiration.
What happens to our humanity when we don’t question decisions that are made for us? And what happens to society when technology seeps into our personal relationships? A story that starts out as fairly innocuous, but quickly ramps up to a chilling and claustrophobic climax, this is a book that has me questioning every text I send, every online survey I’ve been prompted to respond to, and every new bit of technology I find fun and distracting. Eggers writing is a warning shot fired over our heads.
The true story of the University of Washington rowing team, an unlikely group of scrappy young men whose camaraderie and discipline enabled them to beat the established U.S. and British rowing elite, and go on against remarkable odds to beat Hitler’s German team for the gold medal at the 1936 Berlin olympics. This is also a story about friendship and family, mentors and opportunities, unique to an era long gone.
Two young couples become lifelong friends. I could say this book is really about nothing more than that, but lifelong friendships contain riches not often reflected on this masterfully. This is also a story about academia, marriage, the work we choose to do, and the compromises we make to ourselves to keep our families, our jobs, and sometimes the vision that other people have for us, alive.
After graduating from Princeton, Peter Hessler joins the Peace Corps and heads to Fuling, China to teach English for two years. What begins as his quest to teach others, Hessler soon realizes he is the one who is the student, and his pupils and neighbors—the town itself—instead show him the changing world and how to navigate it. Hessler is a patient and respectful observer, and writes with a luminous style about the rapidly changing China he lives in.
There have been a number of new books lately about experiencing death up close through the loss of a friend or family member, but none has affected me as deeply as this one. David Dow writes about the death of his beloved father-in-law, his dog Winona, and his client on death row, and how each of them leaves behind a legacy of love and meaning after they’re gone.
What better read during an election year than a book about one of our most influential presidents? This biography brings to life Jefferson’s sparkling intellect, filled with rich historical detail, but also admits that much of his life and his legacy will remain enigmatic. This is a fascinating read that humanizes Jefferson as man instead of myth.
If you’ve ever lived as an expat, or moved far from a place you’ve once considered home, then MFK Fisher’s recounting of her years in Provence will feel familiar to you. It’s for anyone who’s felt at home in a place they never expected to, and sometimes because of that, has not been able to truly go home again.
James Salter’s books aren’t always easy to read. They’re so often about the disconnected or the discontented, but his love of words leaps off every page. His writing is sensual, evocative, unsettling. And never forgettable.
There is nothing predictable in a single one of these stories. Not a character, an outcome, or a piece of dialog that felt remotely familiar. How delightful to read short stories so sharply written, and so uniquely their own.
A boy, a raccoon, and a lot of old-fashioned adventure. I read this book as a child, an adult, and later listened to the audio version with my own kids. Once read, I have never looked at the natural world the same way. A true classic.